BELLE GLADE — Seven Raider football players signed their names to receive college scholarships at places all around the country Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the school signing day event in the gymnasium.
It was a time for pride, excitement, and even tears as the school, the players, coaches, students, and families experienced a time of great joy for these young men.
Athletic Director Dr. Carl Gibbons said it is the school’s goal to give students options upon completion of graduation, “Today is just an example of the quality of academics and athletics we have here at Glades Central.”
He called it a Glades area celebration. He thanked all the parents for allowing the school and its staff to educate and assist these young men.
“Remember they are our own and continue to encourage them to further their athletic and academic careers,” he added. Coach Rick Casko said these kids watched the older Raider players and wanted to follow in their footsteps. Now this group will be watched by the younger kids. “It is your time to step up guys, leave mom and dad, and get independent. You so deserve where you’re going and I hope for the best for you,” he added.“You will represent Glades Central to the nation and let them know that this is one of the best places to be,” he added.
Tremaine Carrigan said he would attend Arizona Christian College. He said he was excited to see different things and new people. “I had a lot of thinking to do and I had a lot of options. It feels great to be here today with my mother.” He plans to study criminal justice with a minor in sports management in Arizona. His mother Natasha Douglas said she was very proud of her son and his accomplishments, “I think it’s awesome. He is the first one in the family to go to college and I think he’s ready for it.”
James Blackman chose Florida State University where he will compete to play quarterback. He knows he has a lot of work in front of him to compete with the best in the nation. “I felt at home there. I’m ready to take on the challenge, will get to compete, learn the offense, gain some weight and hopefully be great.”
Quantino Allen decided to attend Oregon State University. He plans to contribute at running back, slot receiver and on special teams. “I grew up watching a lot of great players. Belle Glade is known for historic football players and I just want to be one of those that made it to the NFL.” Allen narrowed his choice to between OSU and Maryland but chose the Beavers who were (4-8) last year.“It was a long hard decision. I didn’t think I’d go across the country but when it got down to it I felt like it was the best fit for me. I can be a big fish in a little pond. They haven’t had a lot of success there and I plan to change that when I get there.” Allen plans to study sports medicine in college.
Rodrick Martin decided to attend Glenville, State in West Virginia. The Pioneers compete in NCAA Division II football. Martin said he would like to study business management and one day run a business.
“It’s a great decision. I thank God. I thank my family and I thank Glades Central Community High for putting me in this position. I’m going to make a statement there.” Martin said he was glad to share this moment with his family and plans to play linebacker or strong safety.
His father Robert Martin said Glenville got a good athlete and a good student, “We have confidence in him and he will make us proud. I tried to be a role model for all my sons and all of his brothers are here today to support him.”
Coach Casko said it is very hard to afford college and these young men have a great opportunity and avenue to get a nice career in life.
Defensive end John Morris intends to sign with Garden State Community College in Kansas soon.